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Childproofing tips for summer activities

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Childproofing your summer

'School’s out for summer' may be music to every child’s ears, but those fun in the sun family activities can also mean a trip to the hospital emergency room. According to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a leading product safety certification organization, more than 2.7 million US kids end up in the ER every summer from accidents in or around the home. To help you childproof your summer activities and keep your family safe, here are UL’s summer safety tips for the home.

Mom in pool with daughter

Grill safety

Delicious burgers, chicken and veggies hot off the grill are the makings of a fun family meal outside on the deck. But summer grilling can also cause burns and fires. No, you don't have to nix the weekend cookouts, simply grill responsibly.

Keep grills at least 10 feet from any structure. Grilling mishaps cause more than 8,300 fires and send 3,000 people to the emergency room each year. Never grill indoors or near garages or porches, even if it's raining.

Man the grill. Never leave the grill unattended, especially when young children or pets are nearby. Kids are naturally curious and pets are naturally attracted to food.

Never use gasoline or kerosene to light a charcoal fire. Gasoline and kerosene can cause an explosion.

Mitt up. When grilling, use insulated, flame retardant mitts and long handled barbeque tongs and utensils to handle food and coals to avoid getting burned.

5 Tips for summer grilling with the kids

Pool Safety

Even if your kids are in their teens and star swimmers, your pool can still be a drowning danger to visitors' and neighbors' kiddos.

Install a fence. The fence should be at least four-feet high and have a self-closing, self-latching gate that has a locking mechanism beyond a child's reach.

Supervision is a must. Follow the 10/20 rule when you're at the pool. The 10/20 rule states the supervising adult needs to be able to scan the pool within 10 seconds and reach the water within 20 seconds

Always check the pool first if a child is missing. Child drowning is often a silent death that alerts no one with splashes or yells for help, especially when it comes to toddlers. Many drowning accidents happen when children have been missing for less than five minutes.

Clean up. Empty small wading pools after children are done playing and remove all toys. Infants can drown in just a few inches of water. Pool toys may attract children to the pool when it is unattended.

More water safety tips for summer

Playground Safety

When school's out and there is no more homework to be had, your kids can't wait to while away their day with backyard play. However, before you set them loose, give their playground equipment and the backyard space a safety check.

Carefully inspect backyard playground equipment. Make sure equipment is anchored safely in the ground, all equipment pieces are in good working order, S-hooks are entirely closed, and bolts are not protruding.

Measure up. While you inspect the equipment and play area, check for spaces that could trap children like openings in guardrails or between ladder rungs. These spaces should measure less than 3.5 inches or more than 9 inches.

Do a sandbox check. Before letting your child dig in, rake through the sand to check for debris or sharp objects as well as inspect for any animal contamination or insect problems.

How to organize your backyard safely

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